Homer Alaska - Arts

Story last updated at 2:03 PM on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First Friday Events

August shows reflect inspirations from Arctic

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer


Photo provided

Jeanne Young's paintings of everyday life show at Picture Alaska.

Shows opening for First Friday in August reflect a common inspiration for Alaska artists: the imagery found in nature and life in the far north. At the Art Shop Gallery, Anchorage artist Liz Bowen looks to the subtle beauty of glaciers for images in her dichroic glass jewelry. At Fireweed Gallery, George Maurer's paintings seek to portray the elements of boats, ship's rigging and the people who work boats. The simple beauty of everyday Alaska life also compels Palmer artist Jeanne Young, showing at Picture Alaska.

Several artists combine cultural influences in their shows. At Ptarmigan Arts, Steve Panarelli merges the Japanese aesthetic of bonsai trees in his wire wrapped sculptures of trees. Not to be missed is a show at Bunnell Street Arts Center by Homer artist Ron Senungetuk, one of Alaska's premiere artists, and Canadian artist Abraham Anghik Ruben. Inuit artists who share a common heritage in the Bering Sea people of Wales, the artists also explore in different ways the Scandinavian influence on their art. Senungetuk, who studied in Oslo, Norway, carves wood panels that have both a clean Scandinavian elegance as well as an Inupiaq sensibility. Ruben, who studied with Senungetuk at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Native Arts Center, draws his material from Inuit and Norse myths and the ancient contact between two Arctic peoples in Greenland and North America 1,000 years ago.

Art Shop Gallery

207 W. Pioneer Ave.

Glacier Glass by Liz Bowen

5-7:30 p.m., First Friday Reception 1-6 p.m., Saturday

Anchorage artist Liz Bowen shows her original dichroic glass jewelry. A glass maker for 24 years inspired by the beauty of Alaska, she calls her work "Glacier Glass." Metal coated glass, the jewelry can have as many as 20 layers of semi- precious metals such as beryllium, titanium and yttrium. Many of these metals can be found in the tailings of glacier deposits in Alaska.

Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

New work by Ron Senungetuk and Abraham Anghik Ruben

5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception; 6 p.m., artists talk

Homer artist Ron Senungetuk, founder of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Native Arts Center, shows his recent work in a show with a former student, Canadian Inuvialuit artist Abraham Anghik Ruben. Senungetuk and Ruben also share a common appreciation for Scandinavian culture. Born and raised in Wales, Senungetuk studied on a Fullbright scholarship at the Statens Handverks og Kunstindustri Skole, Oslo, Norway. Ruben looks to the more ancient Nordic culture and its influence on Inuit cultures through Viking settlements and exploration in Greenland and America. "I have drawn my material from Inuit and Norse myths and legends, historical contact, and to a large part from my own imagination of what may have happened between two arctic peoples who had similar world views through shamanism in the early years of contact," Ruben writes on his web page.

Fireweed Gallery

475 E. Pioneer Ave.

Fish.People.Boats, by George Maurer

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

A classically trained artist who has studied through the University of Oregon and also under the apprenticeship tradition, George Maurer has shown his work in Oregon, Montana and in private collections. His show focuses on Maurer's motivation to draw and paint several evocative elements of Homer. "The curves in the boat's hull as it meets the water, the myriad of lines in the rigging and the working people on the docks all come together for me into energetic compositions," he writes. As part of his show, Maurer will be drawing a boat a day to be exhibited the following day at the gallery in the spirit of changing quality and freshness that he says he finds in his subjects.

Homer Council on the Arts

344 W. Pioneer Ave.

Fauna, by Alice Shaw Flower Pots and Other Sanities, by Ruby Haigh 5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Alice Shaw and Ruby Haigh's show, which opened in July, continues through August at the HCOA gallery, with another reception on Friday.

Picture Alaska

448 E. Pioneer Ave.

Life's Poetry by Jeanne Young

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Palmer artist Jeanne Young shows new oil paintings. About her new show, Young writes, "From gardening to dance to boating, our everyday lives in Alaska run the range of wildly exciting to downright civilized. I love painting the simple beauty that makes up each day. Whether it involves vivid color, thick brush strokes, dramatic lighting situations, subtle color, quiet composition, or gentle transitions, I enjoy the challenge of matching my painting style to suit the mood. Sometimes my paintings are purely about the quality of the paint and other times I'm interested in telling more of the story of the subject."

Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery

471 E. Pioneer Ave.

Story of the Trees, sculptures by Steve Panarelli

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Homer artist Steve Panarelli shows his unique wire-wrapped tree sculptures. "I have always found the shapes of the natural world to be inspiring," he writes. "Trees in particular to me seem to have a voice and can tell their story without speaking. Each one is a product of its environment, displaying its history in subtle yet telling ways. Following the traditions of bonsai mixed with machine, my work seems to fall somewhere in the middle expressing these divergent stories. Working in various trades has exposed me to the many different kinds of materials I use. Wire has always been accessible and copper has been my favorite, although steel is often used. Each piece starts with a single piece of wire or tubing. Wire gauges get finer and finer, mimicking nature, as the tree tapers out towards the foliage. Some metals are chosen for indoors while many are suitable for outdoors. The rocks they sit on have been acquired from various places around the Kenai Peninsula."